Saturday, May 9, 2009

Sub-Mayor Is Slightly Interested! :)

So yesterday I managed to grab the sub-mayor by the button. So to speak.

Actually, he was fixing a garden gnome, or something like that.

I was tired & hungry, but thought, 'What the heck?' How often do you get a sub-mayor basically on his knees before you?;) So I inspected the gnome & then ASKED! :)

It seems there *IS* political will for a reuse station in our little town, and maybe for making people more aware how to recycle & minimize trash too!! :)

Will it be a simple reuse station like already existing in Slovenia? (Please take a look & comment - the yellow board on the wall announces a reuse station corner - simply some shelves by the wall.. easy to make & very doable.. I was told that mostly they have furniture & not electronic stuff.. It looks a bit, hmm.. uninspiring, though..)

With other options, finding financing (& a space for a mini-store!) might be a challenge.. Two more superstores have expressed interest to come to our little town, sigh!! (& those are a hefty competition for council land!)
'Tourists & visitors come to our beautiful town to see nature, not supermarkets!!' I pointed out, & sub-mayor agreed, & said how supermarkets & building companies also bring jobs & eg sponsored playground (mostly plastic! sigh!) & some money.. (& more trash, I thought..)

I'm welcome to see the sub-mayor again about this (he did have to repair the gnome!) & hopefully we'll talk more with other parties involved in this too..

Ideally it would be a 'real' small shop like these in the USA offering awesome stuff cheaply - just furniture, sins, doors, garden ornaments etc... crockery, art supplies, old candles.. It's 'creative reuse', not just a thrift store..!! :)

Or something like what they have in Nova Scotia, Canada: a longer film on waste management shows a VERY cute store with furniture & other stuff for house renovation (after 19:10) selling bathroom articles, some things like old doors are creatively re-styled into other furniture like kitchen cabinets etc..

One of my favorite ones was this shop in Burlington, Vermont, USA (film also available with more videos about communities worldwide going zero waste on - Prof. Paul Connet's website it seems)
Recycle North is a non-profit that takes even old PCs & fridges, repairs them if necessary, & sells again for a small price (tax-deducted!), low-income families get coupons to get stuff for free..

At the same time it's a job training center for people who'd find it difficult to get a job otherwise.. Now if we could just figure out a way to fund something like this?!! :)
/Both neighbour & I sought for an old computer mouse one can't get anywhere else.. :)/

Apparently The RecycleNorth main shop is being renovated, a ReStore selling artsy crafts is still working! (now that sounds lovely too! :)

Our sub-mayor actually thought a reuse station was quite a nifty idea, & now I have both the local charity, the local waste company & a country-wide electronic-waste collecting company slightly interested. :)

Yes, I made some phone calls this week!! :)

If only one could get some easily available EU or country-wide resources..? hmm?
/More phone-calls & e-mails to write next week!/

Apparently the computers on grass (under trees) were due to a change in system of collecting the old computers & TVs etc.
I agree that the old system wasn't good - old TVs were shoved into big containers & apparently a lot of them broke.. so the electronic-waste collecting company now switched to a different system, but apparently was overflown with demand & they didn't have enough of new-style collecting plateaus, so...?

They promised to bring the plateaus this week, we'll see if that's true..

I also talked to a wonderful friend of mine who's now almost-married off to another town & has a big chunk of potential eco-farm (belonging to her new hubby-to-be relatives!) to work on with her man! She gave me lots of useful ideas & recipes! & even some names of eco-aware people in our hometown to contact next! (& I did offer my services!:)

Interesting, how great minds think alike, the synchronicity of it all.. Mrs Green & her guest blogger Sophie blogged about 'non-monetary' work, land & crop exchange this week.. & JustGai was Grow Zoned!
I was thinking lately too, how land & food can be exchanged with no monetary investment!! We got some sausages & some wood from our relatives just cause Dad helped at their farm! & this friend got wonderful workable rested land to use & work on for free! (from her man's relatives!)
Mum & I planted beans & pumpkins at Uncle's farm (even the ones with non-peel seeds!) 'Free food' again! :)

Oh, & I quarrelled with our neighbour on whether tetrapaks can or cannot be recycled!
Overall, quite a productive day & week! :)

Sub-mayor seemed slightly interested on how we managed to reduce our waste after zero waste week too!! /& glanced uneasily at his big bag of waste!;)/

Do you have a reuse station in your town? What is it like? What do they have there? Just furniture or also other stuff like clothes or electronic gear? How has it been financed & set up? Just curious!! Do tell!!

What do you think about the different options for reuse stations presented here?


  1. What great news, Layla and what a productive week!

    We don't have an official reuse station here, but you can take things from the recycling centre if you play by their rules. I can't really say any more than that!

  2. Thanks Rae! :)

    I even did some unofficial networking yesterday! :)

    What do you mean by 'play by their rules'? Can you explain? And how do you find the goodies? (maybe e-mail?)

  3. Hi Layla,
    Great news from you!
    And thanks for the videos. I watched only just some minutes. This evening I'm going to see them entirely.

    It was a surprise to me to see Paul Connett! I met him at a conference last October and discovered that he's a very charismatic and creative person! Recycle North is very interesting and could be taken as example – especially in this moment of economic crisis – because it offers also the opportunity of a green job for people who loose their own.

    In our city we have four second-hand shops, one is a charity one, the others are managed in private business. I don't know if they could be compared to reuse stations. They sell every kind of objects, from furniture to clothes, shoes, toys, electronics, appliances, bikes, and other kinds of tools. Prices are not even low, because many things are quite new and belongs from expos and fairs. But, on the other hand, they don't offer a repair service for broken things and if the object is in a not so good condition, you have to repair at your own costs.

    People, indeed, don't even mind to purchase second-hand objects, because think that they are dirt and short-lasted. It's a state of mind we have to change. We must spread the importance of reusing and repairing things now!

  4. Hi Danda!

    What do you think about the videos? Did you manage to watch them? I'm so glad you're interested!

    I wish I could meet Paul Connet!! :)
    He must really be an awesome & charismatic man!
    I wonder if he could visit Slovenia again too? (I think he was here years ago, when some big incinerators were opposed against!)
    Maybe next time he comes to Italy or some other place in Europe, he could come here too? (combined trip=less pollution by air travel!)

    I like Recycle North too!!

    & I agree it's not good to have reused products with no warranty!! Online (German or some other stores from US or UK?) I think you can buy some reused/refurbished products with warranty!
    Ideally, people could get reused/refurbished items WITH warranty!! (for cheap/free!:)

    Here, people are not excited about 2nd hand stuff either, but with a lot of marketing & beautiful pictures, many things could look exciting!!
    Sometimes NEW things are even worse than old ones, & just marketed so smartly!!